Joyce sat in the lobby of the Hawkins Police Station, her small hand rubbing circles on her swollen tummy. If it weren't from her carrying her husband's baby she would be smoking the stress he was putting her in.
How could you get arrested for public intoxication on their damn anniversary?
Didn't she mean more to him?
"Cheif Peters, Mrs. Byers is here for her husband." Florence the secretary announces as soon as he walks into work.
He turns and glances towards Joyce before continuing to walk without saying a word.
"Let officer Davis deal with it when he gets in." Chief Peters growls slightly glancing over his shoulder towards Florance.
"That's at noon." She says shaking her head.
"She can wait."
"Sir, it's only eight."
"She can wait." He repeats before walking to his office and slamming the door.
"I'm sorry about that Mrs. Byers. He's been very busy lately." The woman says trying to make an excuse for her bosses response.
Joyce nods slightly before looking to the clock on the wall and watching the hand move down.
"8:01 A.M." She reads to herself. Grabbing her purse from the floor, she grabs herself a couple snacks she always has packed.
Joyce shakes her head a couple times continuing to think about what kind of issue she and her husband of one-year have been dealing with.
It all started with him getting fired from the janitorial job in the School. He got in a fight with the principal after he was caught selling some drugs to the students on the weekend.
Who would sell to teenagers?
He also missed a couple of the ultrasounds to the baby and to watch the progress of his growth.
Now this, caught drinking in the park by Town hall.
Joyce gnaws on her peanut butter snack thinking, she notices that secretary looking to her.
"I'm sorry, did you say something?" She asks.
"I asked how far along you are." Florence repeat.
"Oh, I'm 26 weeks." She answers with a smile.
"How sweet, are you nervous?"
Joyce nods her head. "More about the father than the baby." She answers chuckling but not finding any humor in any of it.
"I remember when I had my children, I was so nervous. My husband was working for the Hawkins post and I just got my first job with the supermarket. My feet always so swollen after my long 8 hours." She shakes her head. "I don't know how I did it then?" She smirks.
"3 months later I gave birth to my sweet boy Charlie."
"I bet it was exciting though." Joyce smiles looking to the woman reminiscing.
"It was, it was just Charlie and I all day. I learn how to be a woman and a mother all at once. I knew then that having my son at the age of 22 was going to be my full-time job." She shakes her head again.
"I quit a few weeks later."
Joyce nods trying to be kind and listen to the woman's story but bad in her mind she was more worried about her husband.
"Have you got yourself a job?" Florence asks trying to continue the conversation flowing.
Joyce nods again.
"I work in the library for right now. Just a part-time thing." She shrugs her shoulders.
"I hope the husband brings in the money." She smiles kindly.
"He did." She answers in all honesty.
Florence looks away and back towards her paperwork. She knew she might have crossed the line.
"I'm sorry you're dealing with so much during your pregnancy." She grabs a handful of paper and places them all together nicely.
"What are you having?" She asks changing the subject away from her husband.
"A boy." Joyce answers.
"A little boy." She smiles imagining him inside her mind. "May he be adventurous." She adds.
Joyce places her hand onto her tummy and thinks about what the future holds for her son.
"Mrs. Byers, I don't mean to drag you down in any way but it's only 8:30." She says looking to the young pregnant girl.
"Would you like to come back in a few hours?"
Joyce places her head onto the wall behind her and tries to think she was somewhere else anywhere but in jail.
Joyce could go back to their Cracker Jack apartment they call home but she would rather wait here then to be in that small shitty apartment.
"Do you have another officer who could help me?" Joyce asks wanting to get over this hump of a day.
The secretary looks to her paperwork, her eyebrows shoot up when she sees a name.
"I have one but he's still in training." She answers.
"He'll do, please just help me get my husband out from behind bars."
"I'll give him a call." The secretary pick up the phone and dial the number.
Joyce watches the woman begin to talk on the phone with the training officer.
"Please could you come in, she really needs to get out of here. This isn't a good environment for her." Joyce hears the woman say to the man on the other end.
"Thank you, we'll see you when you get in." She answers with a smile on her face.
"He's on his way." She smiles towards the young pregnant woman.
Joy sits in her seat for another 30 minutes until she can't handle it anymore, she has to pee.
Asking the secretary where the restroom is, she gets up and leaves to relieve herself.
The front door opens and in walks Jim Hopper and his freshly clean tan uniform.
"This better be good Florence, I was sleeping." Hopper starts placing his hands on the top of her desk.
"She just went to the restroom, she's pregnant and all. Her husband was arrested yesterday and well she's been here since 7." Florence quickly says stumbling over her words worried for the young pregnant girl.
"Woah, calm down Florence. You're speaking too fast that I'm not catching a word you're saying and I'm also still waking up."
Joyce walks out of the bathroom her eyes instantly noticing that tall man she's used to skip classes with to smoke and call friend.
"Hello Hop." Joyce starts, making her way towards him.
Hopper turns around hearing the familiar voice and sees a very pregnant Joyce walking towards him.
"Joyce." He smiles and meets her in the middle so she wouldn't have very far to walk.
"Please tell me you're here just to say hi and not because you're dealing with an idiot here."
Joyce looks down to her wedding ring and silently lets him know she wasn't here to catch up.
"My husband is locked up for public intoxication."
"That's your husband?" He asks in surprise.
Joyce's face flushes with embarrassment.
"No offense Joyce but where did you meet the guy?"
"Hop." She says quickly smacking her lips knowing her high school friend didn't approve.
"Okay sorry, just wondering." He raises his hands in a defensive way.
"I need help to get him out." She starts up again.
"Well I'm sorry to say but he's going to be in there for a while. He spit at Dave and I when we arrested him. So that added to his time."
Joyce goes slack-jawed hearing the other reason he was arrested.
"He didn't tell me that." She says trying to understand why he wouldn't tell her the truth.
"You think she would tell you why she's really in here?" Hopper begins. "Come on Joyce, he assaulted police officers."
She shakes her head still shocked that Lonnie would lie to her.
If you can lie about this, what else has he lied about?
"Hop, I'm sorry he did that to you and your co-worker."
Hopper sighs and leads her away from his bosses office door and away from Florence.
"Listen Joyce, you didn't do any of it. I know I'm not very much or even have the authority to tell you what to do but let him stay in there for a few days. Maybe it will help him realize he's an idiot and needs to get his act together. He's got a kid on the way for God's sake." Hopper expresses with a sigh.
"Thanks hop but I really need him home." She says knowing it was going to take a while but he would be let out.
The door opens to the chief's office. He walks out looking to the others in the room, his eyes bright red.
"Chief are you okay?" Hopper asks taking a step towards him.
"I can hear you through the damn walls, he said no to letting your poor excuse of a husband out and no I'm not okay." He says before collapsing to the ground.
Joyce and Hopper both run towards and just see if he's okay and Florence calls the paramedics so he could be taken in to see what was happening.
Hopper called Dave to go with their Chief to the city. He stayed back in Hawkins to keep an eye on things in the small town.
Chief had been dealing with a lot of problems with his health that has made the other officers on their toes. When the paramedics showed they examined him before declaring he had a heart attack.
Chief has always been a fighter so they all knew nothing could get rid of him that easy.
Joyce and Hopper sit in the front of the police station in silence.
"What a day." Joyce tries to start a conversation.
Hopper grunts in agreement before silence takes over them once again.
Joyce turns and looks to Jim. His uniform really complimenting him.
"I didn't know you wanted to be a cop." She begins.
Hopper turns and looks to her, he didn't know he wanted to do it either but having her in the town and this old shitty crew they had before he started weren't going to keep her safe, so he knew he had to.
"Yeah just came to me one day." He answers looking to her.
"You always told me you wanted to get out of here, you always said that this town was killing you slowly." She says looking to Hopper.
He did want to leave but she always flashed in his mind when he was close to packing his bags or driving towards the edge of town.
"I did. Something just keeps holding me back here." He explains.
She nods her head and understanding.
"It was a bar." She answers.
"I met Lonnie in a bar in Indianapolis. He was very nice and was kind. He made me feel special. I thought he actually loved me." She says feeling tears begin to well up in her eyes.
She didn't know if it was those damn hormones or just her emotions getting the best of her?
"Hey, hey." He wraps his arm around her shoulders. "Don't do that, don't cry." He says gently.
"I fell head over heels in love with him but once we got married and I got pregnant things started changing." She says trying to keep from crying but a few tears end up falling down.
"I just feel lied to, I feel like a stupid girl. I really never knew what love was. Mom and Dad sure as hell never showed it or shared it with me." She says.
"Listen maybe he does love you, maybe she's just afraid because things are becoming more real than they ever have. You're going to be parents soon."
"He told me he was ready."
"Joyce where guys, have we ever been ready for anything? It's just a really big step for him, I don't want to give this guy an excuse but this could be why." He says bwfore leaning in and kisses the side of her head quickly.
"Who knows maybe once the baby is born he'll get his act together." Hopper says trying to get her to feel a little better.
"That's a 50/50 chance." She answers looking to her lap and thinks to herself.
She didn't know what the feeling in the pit of her stomach means, she felt it when she heard Hop's voice while she was in the bathroom. It's deep inside her a feeling she knew she felt before.
She glances over towards Jim and fills it again.
She knows the feeling, she knew what it is. She looks away feeling scared, nervous.
How could she feel this feeling?
She felt her heart swell up with love for Jim Hopper.
She hung out with him everyday, lunchtime and to skip their boring classes.
They were a thing without actually being a thing.
Joyce looks to her hands. Her wedding ring which wasn't very special residing on your finger.
She's married now, a baby on the way and she can feel herself trying to reconnect with him. Find what they once had.
She wanted a relationship, she wanted her marriage something like this.
"Joyce." Jim says gently.
She looks towards him and See's the young man she used to hang out with.
"Did you have anything to eat?" There be goes again worrying about her before himself.
"Just a snack."
He looks away, shaking his head he turns and looks at her with a smile.
"Some things never change."
"What's to change? It hasn't been that long."
"It's been five years since high school." He answers.
She widens her eyes in surprise.
5 years could it really be five years?
"You're kidding?" She asks.
"Not even a little." He always counted the days since thet last shared a cigarette, skiped a class. The years he's let his feelings get the best of him.
It's been 6 years since he fell for her but was too chicken shit to do anything about it. He regrets it even more now.
"I can't believe it's been that long." She says thinking about the last day of school like it was yesterday.
A car drives up towards the police station, parking in the front a man in a suit and briefcase climbs out of the car.
"Can I help you?" Hopper asks standing up and making sure to stand in front of Joyce, protecting her from the unknown man.
"Are you the chief here?" The man asks barely making eye contact with Jim.
"I'm not, he's out right now. Is there something I could help you with?"
"I'm Lonnie Byers lawyer." The man says fixing his tie.
The way he acted he knew he was from the City.
"When did he call you?" Joyce asks trying to get up, with the help from Jim.
"I don't know why it's any of your business or concern." The man says his snooty attitude covering his features like a mask.
"I'm his wife." She crosses her arms across her chest.
"My apologies ma'am, he called when they gave him his one call last night."
Just felt like she was stabbed in the back, she is his goddamn wife and she never got one call from him. She had to hear it from Florence.
"He called last night saying he was being held here for crimes he did not commit."
"Oh yeah sure, public intoxication and assaulting a police officer in the park across from Town Hall. I got some camera footage in case you don't believe me." Jim says taking a step towards the lawyer. The Man barely looks at Hopper, ignoring what Jim had to say the man turns towards Joyce.
"He's your husband, I'll fight to get him out."
Joyce turns towards Hopper, his face silently telling her she deserves better than what she got she looks down towards the graveled road and sighs.
"Leave his ass in there, maybe he'll realize he's got a family and then he'll possibly get his act together." She says walking back into the police station to grab her purse she left with Florence.
"You heard the lady." Hopper says to the lawyer. The man nods before walking back to his car. Hopper smiles to himself seeing that Joyce Adams he knew years return.
Joyce walks out with her purse in hand.
"I'm not sure if you were trying to ask me out to get food but I'm going to take that offer." She smiles.
"After you." He smiles leading her towards the police car.
Hopper helps her into the car and walks round to the driver side.
He knows Joyce is a married woman now, baby on the way. He knows he needs to move on, find someone to love him. He knows Joyce can't love him or give him any of that but he'll take what he can. Keep their friendship strong, who knows maybe the friendship will go on for years.
Jim knows that he'll find something just like this.